Susan Fainstein, Harvard University
«This recent film captures the tensions in cities. Whereas once edgy, Bohemian elements were seen as unproductive parts of the urban milieu, since the publication of Richard Florida's book, The Rise of the Creative Class, they are regarded by public officials and property interests as stimuli for later investment and thus the progenitors of gentrification. The result is that formerly low-cost areas quickly become fashionable and expensive, forcing out the very people who originally made them appealing.
Tino Buchholz's documentary focuses on the city of Amsterdam. Although Amsterdam always has been diverse and creative, it previously manifested these qualities in the context of major social housing construction. Now it is withdrawing from its earlier commitment to the right to the city for all residents and promoting a transformation in the use of space to the benefit of the well-to-do. "Creativity and the Capitalist City" offers a combination of first-hand responses and more abstract analyses to the changes occurring in Amsterdam as a consequence of the municipality's commitment to becoming a creative city.»